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Looking for more information about the upcoming solar eclipse?
Here’s a list TFI Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts’ favorite sites. From maps to live streams, weather info and video, we've rounded up all the information you need to plan a great viewing experience for this year's partial annular eclipse and the total solar eclipse coming up next April. Still can’t find what you want to know? Send a tweet to @CoolAstronomer!
It’s coming: October 14th, 12:05 pm.
The slowly progressing cycles of Earth and Moon orbits around the sun bring us closer to a special triple alignment every minute. This special alignment, called a solar eclipse, is visible from someplace on Earth about every 18 months -- that’s two total eclipses every three years.
More: Visit our Eclipses Hub
If you’re looking to up your dose of lunar light, tomorrow's the night to get a full charge. The next full moon occurs August 30 at 9:36pm ET. More importantly, it occurs on the day of this year’s penultimate Supermoon, a full moon that occurs during perigee -- when the moon is closest to earth in its monthly orbit. It's also the second full moon this month, making it a "blue moon." I guess we can call it a Super Blue Moon!
The summer’s premiere astronomical event, the Perseid meteor shower, runs from late July through late August, peaking around mid-August. Meteors are sand-grained-sized particles of space rock typically “melted” out of the icy nucleus of a comet. The melting occurs when the comet passes near the sun during its orbit around the solar system. The meteors are usually distributed along the orbital path of the comet and fall into the Earth’s atmosphere when we pass through the comet’s path. The comet associated with the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle, first identified in 1862.
Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
This first image from James Webb Space Telescope was released July 11. The Webb science and engineering team was recognized for extraordinary work but not much was said about the image itself, except that it shows some of the oldest light ever seen by humans. Let’s go further toward understanding what the image actually shows. Here’s how to interpret this first JWST ultra-deep field image:
What we see at first glance are bright stars, some small spiral galaxies, and lots of smaller blobs ranging in color from tan to red.
NASA’s next expeditions to the Moon took a step closer to reality when the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket passed its final dress rehearsal tests in late June.